Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Paris Perfect


Is there really anything more beautiful than Paris in springtime or anytime for that matter?  I've only been to Paris once, it was the spring of 2008 and our daughter was studying abroad in the south of France so we went over to spend a little over a week with her.





We spent four wonderful days along the Mediterranean and then we traveled north by train to Paris to spend the rest of our time touring the most visited city in the world.  It was almost exactly two years ago this week that we were there, during Easter time.


I'm not a big travel planner, I don't make lists or know exactly where or what I want to see when I go someplace new.  I do however have a running tally in my brain of things I've seen in magazines, heard from friends, or simply found online that make me take note and remind me that I "must" see something when I do visit one of the locations on my wish list. 

For instance, I know that one day when I visit Fiji I will insist on staying in one of those hotels with huts built directly over the water or that the next time I'm in England I will take a train to Devon and Cornwall to try and find the castle where one of Mr. Tide's ancestors was born (she was supposedly the daughter of the castle's gardener!).




I do look online and get an overview of what is in a particular area, but I just don't have a "plan" per se where every waking moment is mapped out with times and destinations.  I guess I never view anywhere we go as the "last" time we'll visit that place, but always as though it's the first time, and I'll be back again one day.  That way I don't feel like I have to squeeze in every possible attraction while I'm visiting, and instead can just enjoy being in a place, just for the sake of being there.  I want to experience it the way someone who has lived their all their lives experiences it.  So we eat at restaurants recommended by locals and we skip most of the huge tourist attractions, we do see some of course, but those places are never at the top of our list.

Mr. Tide was much more of a planner when we first met, so it took a few years before he learned to love my style of travel, and no I didn't brow beat him into submission, he truly has embraced this more carefree, unscheduled approach. 




So he wasn't surprised at all when just one week before we were due to leave for France that I didn't have a hotel reservation in one of the busiest cities in the world over Easter weekend no less!  He trusted that, like they always do, things would work out and we wouldn't be sleeping along the Seine somewhere huddled together on a bench.

I had contacted Paris Perfect, a wonderful company that rents apartments in some of the most posh neighborhoods in Paris.  Although that may sound like a very expensive way to stay in the city, it really is one of the most cost effective things you can do when visiting Paris.  I also love that these apartments are in real Parisian neighborhoods, filled with the sights, smells, and sounds of everyday life in Paris! 



Just a few days before we left I received an email from the wonderful folks at Paris Perfect saying that they would rent us one of their gorgeous apartments for less than the full week that they normally require.  See, it does pay to procrastinate!  And it was almost half of what we would have paid for 2 hotel rooms during a holiday weekend.  

The apartment had a full kitchen, two baths, a bedroom, and then a wonderful sleeper sofa that converted into two single beds...perfect for a family of 4!  The location was perfect....just as the company name indicates, and we had the most amazing view of the Eiffel Tower from the beautiful big french doors along one wall of the apartment!






We had such a wonderful time traveling around the city for those few days and I have very fond memories of spending time with my family in such a marvelous and beautiful city.  So today when I stopped by French Kissed and saw a whole post on one of my favorite places to eat macaroons, Laduree, it was as though I was transported back 2 years for just a moment in time!  I was sipping tea, eating raspberry macaroons, and soaking in all that is Paris in springtime! 

18 comments:

  1. I still dream of going to Paris some day. Have been to many beautiful cities, but never to France. Still dreaming!

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  2. I lived in England those years and all i've seen of France is a snow globe someone brought me back. I really must go...Thanks for giving me a peek though..

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  3. Ahhhhhh...so lovely! My dream destination for sure. Lucky you, and you can tell you made the most of it. I'm sighing big time! ~Lili

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  4. Very nice post. Paris is one of the places on my dream list. That is good that you were able to stay in such a nice place. I am opposite of you when it comes to trips. I plan everythig and have a list for everything. But I must say that I love throwing the list out the window and playing it by ear.

    Thanks for your great pictures:) i really want to go now :)

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  5. Although I just returned from Paris, your beautiful photos make me miss it already. I love your approach to travel~refraining from over planning. It leaves us the chance to be spontaneous and to embrace the magic of the moment. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment so that I could discover your wonderful site. I will return often.

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  6. What a lovely post- I feel like I have had a little visit to the most beautiful places! Staying in the Paris apartment sounds like a wonderful experience!

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  7. What a wondeful experience for you & your daughter,I could look at your photo's all day,they are beautiful.
    Don't think I'll ever see Paris but I'd go to Bora Bora in a flash:)

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  8. I love love love Paris. I have been very lucky to have visited and can't wait to go back:) I love your gorgeous pics, how lovely was that apartment:) Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us Kat, I love armchair travel! ~ Tina x

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  9. Thanks everyone! Alice, I'd go to Bora Bora in a flash too!

    Kat :)

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  10. I enjoyed your pictures so much. DD2 and I were in Paris 10 years ago - doesn't seem that long - and spending three weeks traveling Europe changed the way I saw our home. In other words, DH had a honey do list (mostly painting), while I started collecting inexpensive antique architectural etchings. Several are of the Paris area, and I never tire of seeing them. Thanks again for sharing, and for stopping by AtticMag.

    Allison

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  11. Two years ago my best friend and family were in Paris...tho only for a day.

    Your lodgings were perfect. I've put that address in my travel file for that "some day" when I get to Paris.

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  12. I'm pretty much the same when I (used to) travel. Can't believe you got that incredible view last moment! I think I love the south of France more than Paris though, just can't be without that large body of water (ocean) nearby!

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  13. My daughter is going to France this summer. Can't believe I am letting her go but she will be visiting her boyfriend's family. What an adventure!!!

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  14. What a wonderful apartment and a totally genuine way to experience the city! Great idea!
    I was lucky enough that Beloved Husband went down on one knee in Paris, having surprised me with a trip there from London by train through the Channel Tunnel. It was the most romantic thing he's ever done (probably ever will do!), but on a freezing cold day in January, we were not totally in the mood for lingering and smooching!!

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  15. What gorgeous photos! It brings back happy memories.

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  16. So beautiful!! That was an awesome apartment and what a deal!!!! We just got back from there! You will have to check out some of my older posts and read about our trip. It was very different going to Paris with a 4 year old!! This was our most unplanned trip and we had such a lovely time!! Have a wonderful Easter!!!

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  17. I'll have to show my daughter your beautiful photos of Paris - it will bring back wonderful memories for her too. Tres fantastique!

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  18. Oh my, these are beautiful pictures! Funny... I have never had France/Paris on my list of places that I would like to visit. Don't know why.This makes me want to add it to my list. The scenery is stunning. I love the Paris Perfect idea. So much better than a hotel AND more cost effective. I'm all about cost effective travel.

    And I am a compulsive, neurotic, annoying planner when I do. Grimmace.

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